What prompted your desire to start keeping a Sabbath?
Carol and I heard Norman Wirzba speak about Sabbath at a Caring for Creation Conference at Lake Junaluska. We also read Matthew Sleeth’s book 24/6 as soon as it came out. We felt that we had lost something and began our efforts to reclaim it. For about eight years, Sunday dinner has been an open invitation to any of our kids that could make it. Sometimes there are four or five, and sometimes ten or more.
What have been some of the biggest obstacles or challenges?
Work, shopping, travel, and busy schedules spill over into Sundays.
What scripture, community accountability, or practices have helped you overcome these challenges?
We have only made baby steps. We have led small group studies using the 24/6 book and have been encouraged through many conversations with others. The standing invitation for Sunday dinner has created a time and space we didn’t have before.
What, if any, benefits have you noticed in your physical, mental, and spiritual health since you began keeping a Sabbath?
Setting aside time for family and God helps us bring balance to a life that can be ruled by work and other obligations.
How has Sabbath keeping affected your marriage, your family, and/or your ministry?
Our children and spouses see that this time together is important to us and has become important to them.
If you could share one encouragement with others, what would it be?
Don’t wait until you can practice Sabbath perfectly. Reclaim it one piece at a time as you are able. Be patient with yourself and keep trying.
Tom Sineath is founder and CEO of T.S. Designs, Inc. Carol Sineath is Coordinator of Congregational Care at Front Street UMC. Tom and Carol have a blended family of five children, three sons-in-law and four grandchildren.